Oxford Oak On Show At Oxfordshire Artweeks

From Saturday 18th May for two weekends I will be participating in Oxfordshire Artweeks and I will be showing some new garden benches and tables as well as some old favourites.
The show is in Lower Heyford, North Oxfordshire. Click on the link here: Art More Lovely
This is a group exhibition with seven other artists – prints, photos, ceramics,sculpture and collage – and is based in a lovely old rectory house and garden. Teas and cake available too. I will be at the show most of the time it is open. Nearby attractions include walks along the canal and Rousham House and Garden

Looking forward to seeing you

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Oak pond surrounds

I have just finished fitting a surround to two small rectangular ponds in a London garden. They are made from quite chunky section green oak, fitted with traditional pegged mortice and tenon joints.

green oak pond surround during installation

green oak pond surround during installation

Here is one of them during installation. It’s often difficult to get a good photo during installation as you are essentially working in a building site. The pink strip is an LED lighting ribbon which can be switched on at night. There’s an oak ramp fitted on the right so that wildlife can get in and out of the pond. I wonder what the frogs will think of the night time light show.

green oak edging to a small pond

green oak edging to a small pond

To show you what it might look like in a year or two’s time here’s a photo of an oak surround I fitted a while back. The pond has filled up with rain water, the oak is mellowing to a silvery grey, and the plants around are starting to overhang. Very nice.

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Traditional Pergola in Oak

We have been busy with pergolas recently. The other one we have recently finished is a very traditional rectangular pergola about 7m by 3.5m which covers a paved area in the back garden of my client just next to their large garage wall.

My client wanted the pergola to look really solid so we went with 125mm square posts and 75mm thick beams.

Braces are made just a little thinner than the beams and joists they fit into as this looks neatest. Joints are mortice and tenon fixed with a 5/8 inch (15mm) oak peg. The whole structure as massively strong and feels very rigid. I hate it when you get solid looking pergolas that aren’t braced properly and almost wave around in the wind.

We gave the whole structure a coat of oil – not necessary for preserving it but good to stop it seasoning too quickly in what remains of our summer.

For more information see Oxford Oak

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Hexagonal Pergola

I have just finished  a rather elegant hexagonal pergola for private client in Oxfordshire.

The timber I used was all from store and so had about a year of seasoning in it which helped considerably in getting everything stable accurate.  The posts were set on stainless steel stand-offs; difficult to see in the photo but you should just be able to notice the posts floating above the grass.

Braces were angled at 30 degrees into the posts and held with 5/8 inch pegs. Both braces and the beams have a curve to the underside which gives the whole pergola a much lighter feel to it.

The trickiest part was turning the central oak boss which holds together the angled rafters. This was made from an 8 inch thick off-cut that has been slowly seasoning in my store for the past four or five years. It was still a little green inside when we cut it size. Seasoned oak this size is not easy to come by.

I now have a very happy customer. Since the photos were taken they have paved inside – I will be going back in a few week’s time to attach some tension cables up the posts and I will take some more photos of the completed structure.

For more information see Oxford Oak

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Rodas Design at Oxfordshire Artweeks

This May I will be participating in two exhibitions for Oxfordshire Artweeks and I will be showing some new garden benches and tables as well as some old favourites.
The first is in Lower Heyford, North Oxfordshire and runs from the 5th May. Click on the link here: Art More Lovely
 This is a group exhibition with four other artists – prints, photos, sculpture and collage – and is based in a lovely old rectory house and garden. Teas and cake available too. I will be at the show most of the time it is open. Nearby attractions include walks along the canal and Rousham House and Garden
The second is in Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire and runs from 19th May. It’s called Sculpture in the Orchard.
This again is a group exhibition with quite a few sculptors showing their work in a beautiful orchard setting. There is also an indoor exhibition with ceramics, jewellery and painting. I will only be attending this show from time to time so please give me a call first if you would like to meet me there.
Nearby to this are the wonderful Wittenham Clumps and historic Dorchester Abbey which is a mile away over the river and across the meadows.
Looking forward to seeing you.
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Good weather for Willow Domes

I have just been reading that this was the wettest April since records began. That’s excellent news for the willow screen I planted back in December.

Here is a photo of it a couple of weeks ago. It’s good to see it all sprouting. Now all it needs is some sun and plenty more rain to get it fully established.

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Traditional oak pergola with curved beams – more photos

Last autumn I finished a large pergola. Here are some more photos.

This shows nearly the full length of the pergola – about 35 meters.

Here’s a view from the other side of the garden.

And here’s the view as you walk through the pergola.

The timber is all responsibly sourced English oak. Construction is very traditional with pegged mortice and tenon joints.

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